The Living Room




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This is a monthly email list for the undergraduates.

It’s nothing big or fancy. It’s just a check-in, every month, and a little pow-wow/pep talk to get you through the up’s & down’s of dorm life. I get the stress of finals. And boys. And parties. And majors. And jobs. And I want to come alongside you every once in a while and get the honor to cheer you on. I’m calling this email list “The Living Room.” Hope you’ll join.

sign up here.

please sign up with your “.edu” email address so that we can keep you on the list. 

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This email list was born on a Sunday.

It came into existence as I lay cross-legged on a white down comforter holding a mason jar of iced coffee in my hands and texting my best friend from college. Her name is Celia. I feel like you should know her name. If I were an octupus, she’d be one of the eight legs. Every girl should have a Celia.

When Celia and I were in college, we had a meeting spot called “the living room.” It has her and I and four other girls. The Living Room existed for only one week but it was the best week of my whole college experience. It was finals time. The holidays. And all six of us got into the habit of pulling armchairs around the fake Christmas tree at the back of our campus center, just sitting there to breathe during final exams. Every night of that last week of finals, we met up to sit around the fake Christmas tree to just study and be together.

I remember so much of that week. We took breaks to pile into the car and get Starbucks. We took breaks to laugh. To dance. To howl over memories that crawled into our conversations. To cheer one another on with miniature pep talks. We were just six girls, headphones plugged into their own computers, all humming to a different tune but consciously inching closer to one another and taking random turns in pointing out that it might never be this way again. One would head for Rome. Another for Prague. One would graduate. Life would change.

Those six girls were right. Not since that week of finals have all of them shared a single space again. At the time we were just happy to be six girls pushing off adulthood for a little while. We were probably naive to think that wrinkles and stretch marks would never reach us but we didn’t talk too loudly about distance, or obligations, or rent checks, or RSVPs while we had one another in an arm’s reach. We just acted like the early 20s were a mystery and we slugged hot chocolate without worrying about the calorie count and took diner trips at 2am and belted out carols knowing, it might never be this way again.  And there’s nothing you can really do about that. You can’t put the moments in a box. You can’t keep people forever. Those moments are meant to happen and then disappear.

I get to say those were the best nights– nights when I felt completely known and seen, like I was maybe doing something right.

That’s why this email list exists. And that’s why it is called “The Living Room.” This list is for those girls out there who are very much like the six girls who once sat side by side and acted like life outside of college couldn’t touch them. They were brave, yet fearful. They were wide-eyed and ready.  They liked boys who didn’t like them back. They laughed at all the wrong moments. They fell in love and it was terrible and wonderful and hard and worth it. They were late to class. They were involved in everything. They wanted big things for their life. But they weren’t invincible. And they needed one another.

This is an email list for those girls. A common ground. A pep talk and a reminder that you’re golden. The emails won’t come often– only once a month. But my heart will get put into them. And they’ll be a reminder that a lot of us need: you’re okay. And the pressures are real. No one has it all figured out. And college will end. You need to dance in the beauty of it while you have it. Go all in.


sign up here.

7 thoughts on “The Living Room

  1. Jessica says:

    Love. I haven’t even gotten it yet but I know I will love it. And I already know that your words will bless so many girls like me out here, navigating college and life and love. So thank you in advance, Hannah.

  2. Pingback: Field Notes: Vol. 4 | Hannah Brencher

  3. psNicholette says:

    A lot happened at the end of last year and I had a very difficult summer as a result. I’m struggling being back on campus and its only the first day. This is wonderful. I love all of your writings. You’re doing big things, love, and it’s changing people and it’s beautiful.

  4. noellesuzanne says:

    I am recently graduated, but I too had a “living room” type experience in college and I feel exactly the same about it! I so love the heart behind this mailing list and I encourage anyone in college or their early 20s to sign up!

  5. noellesuzanne says:

    I have recently graduated but during my time in college I also had what you could call a “living room” but we called ourselves the Wolf Pack. I feel the same way about those times and those friends. Those priceless moments with those wonderfully honest people-they kept me sane. They are invaluable.

    I so love the heart behind this mailing list and I would encourage any college girls to sign up!

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